PharmExec Blog

Lilly Osteoporosis Drug Canned in Phase III Trials

osteoporosis_female
Image by go elsewhere… via Flickr

Lilly, on Wednesday, announced that it would not seek regulatory approval for its osteoporosis treatment arzoxifene, because the drug failed to meet certain end points in Phase III clinical trials.

The good news is that the drug was successful in meeting the primary end point of the trial, dubbed “GENERATIONS.” According to a press release, arzoxifene met the primary end point by “significantly reducing the risk of vertebral fracture and invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.” However, the drug did not meet specific secondary end points, and patients receiving the drug reported more side effects than those taking a placebo.

Lilly compared the treatment to its current osteoporosis products, and chose not to submit the drug for FDA review. The results of the five-year study will be released some time in 2010.

“At Lilly, our goal is to provide innovative therapies that result in better patient outcomes,” stated M. Johnston Erwin, global brand development leader for the musculoskeletal platform at Lilly. “While arzoxifene met its primary efficacy objectives in this study, we are disappointed that the GENERATIONS data did not convincingly demonstrate that arzoxifene would represent a meaningful advancement in the treatment of osteoporosis.”

Lilly was banking on the success of the drug to boost its pipeline, but the company’s CEO commented in the release by pointing out that Lilly has more than 60 molecules in development.

“It’s not that serious a problem” for Lilly, Natixis Bleichroeder analyst Jon LeCroy told Bloomberg. “Osteoporosis is a very tough category right now, and there is tough competition with generics.”

If approved, the drug would have been fighting it out with GSK, Merck, and Teva—all of which either have competing treatments in the osteoporosis market, or are looking to launch a product in that category in the near future.

Now Lilly must reach out to the trial locations currently treating patients with arzoxifene, and discontinue all medication.

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 17, 2011 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    You’ll need vitamin D to maintain your normal blood numbers of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D will allow you to absorb calcium to the bones to increase your density of bone preventing osteoporosis. Recent studies also show that vitamin D is a great prevention from hypertension or hypertension, cancer as well as other autoimmune diseases.

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